When inmates and staff of the Northwest Ohio Juvenile Detention Training and Rehabilitation Center in Stryker, Ohio, began collapsing on Sunday, employees called the Williams County Sheriff’s Office.
According to The U.S. Sun, authorities arrived at the scene, began a search and quickly made a shocking discovery.
Sheriff’s Deputy Jeff Lehman said response teams found fentanyl was released through the air vents in the facility, causing severe reactions in multiple residents.
Various first responders including fire crews, medics and other emergency workers were all present at the chaotic scene.
All told, seven people were hospitalized — four juveniles and three corrections officers. Lehman told WTVG all seven victims were stable and expected to recover.
Since four of the victims are minors, their names and ages have not been released, the Sun reported. The remaining detainees were moved to the nearby Corrections Center of Northwest Ohio, a facility for adults.
According to the Sun, the juvenile center has the ability to house up to 64 minors who have been arrested. The center said on its website its goal was to use strict but fair discipline that would inspire incarcerated juveniles “to become positive and productive members of society.”
Authorities have launched an investigation to determine how the fentanyl got into the air vents.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines fentanyl on its website as a “synthetic opioid” that is “50 to 100 times more potent than morphine.” It is also considered to be 50 times stronger than heroin, the Sun reported.
This latest incident comes at a time when opioids, and fentanyl in particular, continue to cause major problems in the United States.
Last week, four men aged 26 to 39 were hospitalized after fentanyl exposure in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. They were reportedly using cocaine that had been laced with fentanyl, causing two of them to enter cardiac arrest, the Sun reported.
The other two men attempted to perform mouth-to-mouth in an attempt to help their friends, but they were then exposed to the fentanyl themselves. Fire crews found the four men inside a residence with “drug residue.”
A similar incident occurred on March 10, when five cadets from the United States Military Academy West Point and one other person was hospitalized in Wilton Manors, Florida, due to drug overdoses.
According to NBC, the six victims allegedly bought cocaine from another man. The cocaine turned out to be laced with fentanyl, causing four of the cadets to go into cardiac arrest at a rental home.
Liz Zaney, a toxicologist from the Miami-Dade Medical Examiner’s Office, said Florida has seen its drug crisis worsen as students flock to the state for spring break.
“We’re seeing more cases testing positive for both cocaine and fentanyl,” Zaney said according to the Sun.
According to Fox News, Mexico is the dominant source of fentanyl in the United States, with the drug coming through a southern border where authorities are stretched thin by illegal immigration.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.